Investigation in Roanoke, Va. 2001-“The shadows talk mommy”. It was those words that had me answer the call for help. To hear they came from a child sent a ripple of fear running down my spine. For a moment, it took me back to a time I knew fear, a time I said those same words to my own mom.
First day interview with Lucy in her home: I was a little taken aback over the black cloud that enveloped me as soon as I walked in the home. Most spirits would not dare come so close to me. I had no choice but to take it as I tried to read it for any information it might share. Before I could, it left me, leaving me with nothing and drained.
Lucy advised me the house had been left to her by a great aunt. After her divorce, she and her 5 year old son Jason moved in and had only lived here for little over a month when the strange things began. It started with Jason. While giving him a bath at night, he would stare behind her toward the dark hallway. “There’s a woman behind you wearing a funny hat”, he would say. It was the way he said it, sounding so sure. She knew nothing was there, but couldn’t shake the uneasy feeling that there might be something.
In the evenings, shadows would move across the living room in front of the TV. At first, she blamed cars passing by. As time went by and the sightings of the shadows grew, she watched them more closely. “I swear to you I saw a shadow of a man against that wall", pointing to the one beside me. "But it was different than a shadow which is just a reflection of a person, this was like the shadow was the person”. She said it sounded crazy and was trying not to believe it until one night she saw one slither into the TV. As the picture was distorting (like it was being pulled and stretched), a shadow of a head appeared staring at them. “Leave us alone”, she screamed at it in reflex to her terror.
“Mommy, the shadows talk, but you’re not suppose talk to them”, Jason reprehended her.
“Them”? She asked. “How many are here?”
He shrugged his shoulders, and in a tone that clearly said. What a silly question, asking as if he had the information. “I don’t know”.
“Why can’t we talk to them”? She prompted, trying to remain calm.
“They’re bad”. He whispered as if afraid someone would hear.
“Bad in what way darling”?
“Say mean things about you, and daddy. Always trying to get me to go with them”, he replied in a helpless voice.
“How”, her worry turned to panic.
“Always telling me to, Come on. I don’t want to go with them mommy,” and he started to cry. He’s been sleeping with her ever since that night. It had really scared her too.
Soon after that, Lucy began hearing her aunt’s voice calling her name, always from dark corners and she was afraid to go into the dark to investigate. Whispers would come from nowhere, but she could never quite hear what the words were or even if it was a male or female voice. The Remote control to the TV kept getting moved to odd places like on top of the fridge, inside the microwave, the shower. Pictures of Jason hanging on the wall were constantly being found facing inside out. She kept seeing flashes of light, like someone was taking a picture and the flash would go off.
The final straw was Jason’s pet. One night, she watched as the hamster ran on his wheel and then would run around frantically, looking for an escape. The shadow moved so fast, it was like a snake. The poor hamster was lifted off its feet, squealing its head off. Moments later he was dropped and not moving. She checked on him and discovered not only was he dead, his body was stiff, like he had been dead for days.
I walked around the home feeling the dark energy from spirits but it was like playing hide and seek and hide and seek. Grrrrrr. I finally found them outside the house but they hid so deep in the ground, I could not reach them and there were many, too many.
Research takes time, learning who owned the land, all the owners of the home, when it was built, and the countless newspapers I had to dig through. Most of this information was not on the internet. But after many hours I found what I was looking for, who the spirits were. Learned a cemetery was set up next to the house but it was no ordinary cemetery. It housed those the town had decided did not deserve a proper Christian burial. It had convicts, non-believers, John and Jane Doe’s, prostitutes, basically the undesirables of the town. It had been over 70 years since the last person was buried there, so long in fact that the headstones that had just been big rocks back then were gone. There were no signs a cemetery had ever been there. It was as if the town buried it, not wanting anyone to remember it or the people in it.
But the most interesting news was about her great aunt Genevieve. Going back through the newspapers, I found where her aunt had séances at her home. So popular in fact, it talked about the people who traveled far just to attend one of her séances. And it seemed it was how she made her living, charging the people who attended. Advertised herself as a medium, guaranteeing contact with spirits. Wow, Genevieve knew the place was haunted and used it to her advantage. But with the kind of bad surrounding the place, it must have been a constant battle of good vs evil. Lucy was unaware of any of this, having only met her aunt when she was a child and very little contact since then. She had been surprised to inherit the house.
I had to explain to Lucy I could protect the house but it would not last long, not against so much negative energy. There is such a thing as volume. I can help guide the spirits toward the light but most will not go through. Like people, ghosts have rumors too. The one that terrifies them is what really awaits someone who is very bad. It's what keeps them from going through the light. They do not have enough trust in God to know that he loves them, not enough trust in themselves to forgive, trapped so to speak. It pisses them off, and most will lash out in anger. The longer they stay, the angrier they get.
I advised to find out all she could about her aunt and see if she can find a way to live with it like her or move out. Her aunt must have known she could handle it or would not have left her the house. Knowing a medium who taught a class, I sent her his way to see if she has the ability and if so, trained on how to use it. Trust in that, yourself and God I told her. And Jason like most children can see the paranormal, do what he says, and don’t talk to the shadows, ignore them.
Over time, like her aunt, Lucy embraced the paranormal, and with the help of another medium, started conducting séances. She told me she felt like she was being beaten down by the spirits and now armed with knowledge and training, it was her way of fighting back. I understood.